About two months ago I made a reservation for a US hotel through Booking.com, using a prepaid credit card. The hotel tried to check my card on May 19th (past the free cancellation period, which was only until the 10th), which was denied because like an idiot I'd put in the wrong expiration date. I was given 24 hours to fix it, which I did. The problem was I misread the amount due (I didn't notice that the quoted value didn't include a 15% fee), so when the hotel actually tried to charge my credit card I didn't have enough money on that card since I usually don't put more money in it than what I actually need for safety reasons.
Since the 24 hour period to fix issues with the card had already passed, the booking was automatically cancelled.
I immediately received an e-mail from booking.com saying the reservation had been automatically cancelled, that no further action on my part would be necessary and that put the total cancellation cost at 0 dollars. Checking the booking.com reservation, it still says the booking was cancelled for free.
Cue to today, when the hotel again tried to charge me (though an amount lower than the one I'd have paid for my stay).
Do I have to pay this fee since the reservation was cancelled after the free cancellation period? It doesn't seem fair since I'm being charged for a reservation that was automatically cancelled by the property and I couldn't use. Or do I not need to pay since I wasn't the one to cancel it, and all the booking.com information says I don't have to pay anything? What should I expect?
I'm going to contact the property regardless, but I'd like to have some idea of what usually happens in this situation.